I like reading. I like creating. I like learning and figuring out new ways to put things together. But the thing that makes me money as an author?
Writing books. Specifically the Z series so far, but I haven’t tried a big launch on Shadowboxer, or Witchmas, or focusing on Sci Fi which tends to trend when I first publish it. Z though is doing well.
It’s 2017. Last year as I sat in the living room of my home in Florida, I planned to write one book in each series a month to build up to 13. I had the time and space and savings to write full time and only write.
I could have done it. 10 books in the Z series would be putting around 3k a month into my pocket. If the other series performed as well, I’d be at 9K per month.
There is a missed opportunity cost associated with waiting.
when I think about how I should spend my time this year, what I should focus on, it’s a series of course. I may not have the time now to write one book every ten days, but I can do a book every two weeks, and still reach some goals of series length by May.
That’s 5 months.
The question you should be asking is, what can you do in five months.
I waited too long. I skipped out on a plan. I got distracted by new stories, new shiny things. Just last night, I had my notebook in lap just brainstorming and outlined the Fort Smith story of Judge Isaac Parker. Wrote 8 pages.
Ridiculous, I thought to myself. I could have put those 1000 words into BZ Blues Highway.
The point is, don’t wait. Don’t delay. Write, when you can every day, on one series. Build 8 – 10 books in that series. Get good covers, get good description and put the world’s largest reading machine to work for you.
I don’t know if blogging helps. I don’t know if promoting other authors helps. It sometimes seems to do so. When I tweet about other people’s work, I get a lot of traction on my stuff.
Why? Is it coincidence? Are other authors checking me out and buying?
I don’t know. That’s the hardest part of book sales sometimes. You can track an ad and put more money into the ones that work. How do you track the intangible stuff?
You can’t. You’ll kill yourself trying to track it all, and that’s just a way for the monkey mind to distract you from your one goal. Your main task is to write the stories. Write them all as fast as you can, and get them up.
That’s how you find more audience. That’s how you find more traction and become a working writer.
It’s going to take time. As much time as it takes for you to write the series and get it up. Three might not do it for you. Nine might not either. But keep writing.
If you are good at it, if people like your story and like your style, you will make money. How much depends on how much you write, how well you write, how well you connect, and how well you are discovered.
Almost all of those are out of your control except the most important of all: how you write.
I’m not saying you have to be a great writer. I’m not. But I am a better writer than I was a year ago, and way better than I was ten years ago.
If you focus on one series and the goal of putting out ten 50k books in that series in a year, you will be forced to get better. Get faster. Stop editing yourself on the first draft. Just move the story along. Have fun.
And keep writing.